Babies love to explore their environment. Everything is new and exciting for them! Montessori baby activities can help baby to explore their environment, stimulate their minds, and really, help to baby and their caregivers to bond.
What exactly do I mean by ‘Montessori baby activities’? Well, really a simple activity that allows baby to explore, isolating the development of specific skills, and not over stimulating. Today, I want to share a few activities you can introduce to your little baby that focus on using their senses. These really are simple things you can prepare with items you have on hand already.
Montessori baby activities: exploring senses at 6 months old
Babies soak up their environment, helping to develop their brains, language, concentration, and much more. Today, I am sharing three simple activities that we did with Natasha (6 months old) to let her explore the world around her. I call them activities because I specifically and purposefully set about time to put away all other distractions, to observe and interact with her as she explored them.
The senses, being explorers of the world, open the way to knowledge. – Dr. Maria Montessori
I do want to note that for me, the most important aspect of presenting ‘Montessori baby activities’ is that this is a reminder for me to be mindful, alert, attentive, and in the moment. These activities are not at all about academics, but about bonding with my children. Sometimes, I have to sit quietly so as not to disturb N’s concentration. Other times, we talk with each other as she babbles and explores objects.
Option 1: exploring a wooden discovery basket
How: I gathered two wooden blocks and placed them in a wooden bowl for N to explore.
That really is it at this age! The simplicity is so beautiful! She really loved this! N is not crawling yet, but she is ‘withering’ about. I placed the bowl onto a blanket in her movement area, just out of her reach. She had to make her way over to the basket, giving her something to look at (strengthening vision). She also had a chance to work on strengthening her muscles and hand eye coordination as she reached for the basket.
We did this multiple times, and she really seemed to enjoy exploring the two wooden blocks and bowl. Actually, mouthing the bowl was admittedly her favourite part at this point! Make sure that the items you present are large enough not to be a chocking hazard. Also, be sure that the objects and bowls are clean and safe for baby to place in the mouth.
Option 2: exploring nature
Recently, I was changing Natasha, when Y (my four year old) brought her a flower to smell. N grabbed the flower and started exploring. I let her continue, but stopped her from mouthing the petals. There are some plants that are edible, but others are toxic if ingested so please be careful if you choose to do this with your little one.
This really was such an interesting moment to observe. Y and I let her smell the flower. I described the flower. Mostly, she touched it, then plucked the petals off. This all lasted a few minutes only. Of course, N totally got distracted when I wanted to capture it on camera.
Option 3: Let them play with their food
N is just started to eat solids. Her main source of nutrition is still breast milk, but she has begun to show interest in what my husband, my son, and I are eating. She has rejected purees every time I have offered, but she does really like to explore food. Looks like we probably won’t be doing any purees with her.
Recently, I was preparing an avocado salad with Y and I gave her half an avocado to Natasha to hold, touch, and mouth.
She became very excited and really enjoyed bringing it to her mouth. Baby led weaning and introducing solids deserves it’s own post, but as far as exploration goes, I really feel that it is important to let babies ‘play’ with their food in this way. Eating is a whole new experience for them and they need to adjust to the different textures, flavours, and sensations of food. I let N try out the avocado at her own pace, try not to panic about the mess, and keep my mop at the ready.
I hope you have a fabulous day!